GUWAHATI, May 10 � The militants belonging to the Songbijit faction of the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) are shifting towards Bhutan from the Bodoland Territorial Autonomous Districts (BTAD) areas in small groups following pressure mounted against them by police and security forces. Meanwhile, according to inputs available with the forces, miscreants might try to fish in troubled waters in the BTAD areas.
Highly placed security sources told The Assam Tribune that in the last part of April, the police and security forces received an input that after suffering severe setbacks in counter-insurgency operations in the last few months, the NDFB(S) was planning to target Hindi-speaking people, Muslims and members of the Ranjan Daimary faction of the NDFB, whom they suspect to be helping the forces in the counter-insurgency operations. Adequate precautions were taken following the input, but it was not possible to deploy security in each and every village.
Sources said that again in the forenoon of May 1, a message was intercepted by the security agencies that the outfit would launch an attack on Muslims. The message was forwarded to the police and all the forces engaged in the counter-insurgency operations and in fact, a few actions could be prevented by the forces including one such attempt in the Bijni area. But even after that, at least 40 persons were killed in three separate attacks in Kokrajhar and Baksa districts.
The intercepts received by the security agencies proved that senior leader of the NDFB(S) B Bidai, who was in constant touch with IK Songbijit, who is in Myanmar, orchestrated the attacks, while another hardcore member Rongabaja was involved in the attacks. The groups, which launched the attacks, went towards Bhutan immediately. Moreover, following sustained operations, the members of the outfit have started escaping towards Bhutan in small groups. But there have been discussions whether they should leave their weapons behind or carry those along. Some members of the outfit are of the view that leaving the weapons would not be safe, while, the others are of the view that they would be able to move safely without carrying the weapons, sources added.
Interestingly, a few months back, Bidai was in touch with a few senior officers of the Assam Police discussing ways to come overground. But later, he did not come overground and he is now the mastermind of most of the operations of the outfit.
Sources also said that the NDFB(S) militants have managed to make makeshift shelters in Bhutan where they retreat whenever pressure on them is mounted. But they do not have full-fledged camps as was the case before Operation All Clear in December, 2003.